Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Memorium - Gussie Louise Collins

Earlier this year, Betti King e-mailed Hope Cottage with this message: "I saw on your website that you are looking for the oldest Hope Baby and I think I might have her. It is my mother, Gussie Louise Collins. She was born in August 1922 and is living here in Waco."

Maybe it was the twinkle in her eye. Maybe it was a sense of spunk, but Baby Gussie was adopted from Hope Cottage at the age of six weeks. That was at a time when most babies lived at Hope Cottage until they were six to nine months old to make sure they were healthy and that adoption was what the birth family desired. Gussie's parents were no strangers to the adoption process, having adopted their son twelve years earlier.

Gussie's mother died when she was ten and Gussie was sent to live at Buckner Children's Home until her father felt he could care for her. Two years later, her father remarried and came to Buckner to take Gussie back home to Teague, TX, but Gussie refused to go. She told her father she preferred to stay with her friends at Buckner Children's Home and that is where she remained until she graduated from high school. Gussie had a great sense of adventure working in Washington, D.C. during World War II and living on a military Army base in Alaska, all while raising her three children. Almost her entire career was spent working for governmental agencies. Her children said, "Mother loved people, loved being with them. She always looked like she stepped right out of a fashion magazine."

Gussie and her children
Gussie with her children (l to r) Betti King, Ralph Calhoon and James Reid

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721. 

If you are a woman facing an unplanned  pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.
Mrs. Collins returned to Hope Cottage in the early 1990's and with information provided by our post adoption department, she reunited with another brother and a sister. She passed away earlier this spring in Waco where she resided near her children Bettie, Ralph and Jim.

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